The Harnessed Atom

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The Harnessed Atom is a new middle school science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) curriculum extension that focuses on nuclear science and energy. It offers teachers accurate, unbiased, and up-to-date information on the roles that energy and nuclear science play in our lives. The curriculum includes essential principles and fundamental concepts of energy science.

This teacher’s kit is an updated and expanded edition of the acclaimed 1985 Harnessed Atom curriculum from the U.S. Department of Energy. It was developed with extensive input from classroom teachers across the country in pilot test reviews and workshops, as well as technical reviews from scientists and experts at universities, professional societies, and national laboratories.

The kit includes complete lesson plans, new experiments, and interactive games. It provides information on careers in nuclear science, energy research, and production that will help students consider coursework needed to achieve their career goals. It has been redesigned to be flexible so it can be tailored to fit within the schedule of classrooms everywhere.

The Harnessed Atom includes a student edition, a teacher’s guide with lesson plans, standards, instructor notes, interactive games, classroom activities, laboratory experiments, and outside resource suggestions.

One responsibility of the U.S. Department of Energy is to keep the public informed about our nation’s energy sources, research, policies, and options. The Harnessed Atom helps meet this goal by providing students with factual information they need to make informed decisions about our nation’s energy options and future—and their role in it.

Curriculum documents/activities are available at the links provided on the right-hand side of the page.


Note: PDF files are accessible using Mac, Windows, Android, and most other operating systems. Interactive games and videos that accompany the teacher’s kit may have separate system requirements.